Politicians present a broadly united front on Finland’s security

New research from the Finnish Institute of International Affairs reveals what MPs think on some key aspects of Finland's security policy.

File picture of Finnish soldiers training in winter / Credit: Defence Command

As Parliament resumes this week for the spring session, MPs are broadly united when it comes to Finland’s security.

A new study by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs FIIA, finds that 86% of MPs agree the Finnish defence system should be based on conscription of men in compulsory military service. There was no support for having a fully professional army, and just 10% said conscription should be equal for men and women.

Although all citizens have a military duty under Article 127 of the Constitution, military service has historically been compulsory only for men.

Since 1995, women have also had the opportunity to volunteer for military service and more than 700 do volunteer each year.

Cyber and refugees: biggest threats to Finnish security 

Members of Parliament were asked to rank the issues which they think pose the biggest threat to Finnish security.

Cyber security was at the top of the list, with the global refugee situation, international terrorism, the Middle East situation and Russia rounded out the top five.

Further down the list the employment situation was considered worrying for both government and opposition party MPs.

NATO membership not popular

The new research also asked Members of Parliament what they thought about military cooperation and joining NATO.

Some 66% of MPs say they don’t want Finland joining NATO and about two in ten, or 22%, considered NATO membership desirable.

There’s a clear split here when it comes to government parties with 92% of members of the government saying they didn’t want Finland to join NATO while 42% of opposition MPs said they did.